"Thanks primarily to a rather sensationalistic story on WREG Channel 3 Wednesday night, John Branston's City Beat column from this week's Flyer seems to be generating some controversy," writes editor Bruce VanWyngarden. In the column, Branston asks who should be "the HNIC" of Memphis City Schools, a term meaning "head [N-word] in charge" that refers to the film Lean on Me. VanWyngarden writes that, as editor, he takes responsibility for the column and the phrase. "I apologize to those who were offended by the use of the term in John's column. It was not intended as a racial slur but as a cultural reference to a very real and important decision facing our school board," he writes. "Lost in the controversy is the fact that in his column Branston asks some very pointed and relevant questions of potential superintendent candidates -- questions we ought to be asking." Nevertheless, the one source the TV station has that is upset about the whole thing is still calling for Branston to be fired.

Continue ReadingMemphis Flyer Columnist’s Use of ‘HNIC’ Creates a Stir